If I needed a reminder that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the annual staff booze up would be a strong hint. The first holiday party since our corporate merger had a blanket of doubt looming above. Our old company used to throw these lavish soirees on a huge scale. They hired out the Ripley’s Aquarium one year. The next they booked a warehouse and put together a slinky, fancy prohibition era bash. Expenses never spared, delicious food everywhere. Two drink tickets on entry, but somehow everyone seems to have a contact to get more. The holiday parties have been the right excuse to get dolled up and pretend like you have some class (while getting shamelessly pissed on the company dime). Oh yes, they always did throw such nice events. Since the merger, it’s become evident that even combined, we’re a smaller company than we used to be. As such, wallets have been tighter. Concern tittered through the ranks. What would the Christmas party look like this year? Most seemed put off by the slumber party theme. Others (myself included) questioned the use of the in house atrium. Then there was the fact that the party was during the work day from 3pm to 6pm, rather than a large event over the weekend.
Any fears were mercifully unfounded. They did an excellent job. The DJ knew his stuff and they’d hired professional dancers to encourage people onto the floor. They were pretty damn fancy. One of them even took the chance to show off her impressive press-to-handstand-walk. To shatter dancefloor inhibitions they had the aforementioned two ticket system. As always, it was easy to find drivers, pregnant mothers or people who weren’t into drinking for any other very valid reason. Or individuals who seemed to inexplicably sweat tickets. I’d say how much I drank, but it was an embarrassing amount.
The food. OH the food. There was a fried chicken and waffles stand (though how does one use the supplied fork on the seemingly chitinous exoskeleton of the well cooked chicken on a tiny waffle. That idea could’ve stayed in the deep fryer a little longer. A Tex Mex stand with vegetarian/beef chilli, bread and an assortment of toppings. Sliders, whether Portobello, turkey or beef (accompanied by paper cones filled with crisps). A poutine bar with choice of potato fries or their sweeter cousin. Also caramelised onions, cheese birth grated and curd(ed?) and gravy to douse it all. Best of all, a smores bar complete with sticks, chocolate, Graham crackers, marshmallows and an open flame. A curious choice given (with the combination of pyjamas and intoxication) how flammable everyone was, but I didn’t see a single self-immolation.
The customary photo booth with assorted props got heavy use the whole time. After the drinks had made their way to people’s heads, the dance floor filled up for some hot and sweaty (literally, everyone was wearing pyjamas or onesies) moves. Top notch all around, especially when putting something together on a tighter budget. Most everyone I saw seemed to be having a blast, but I guess if they weren’t, they would’ve left and I wouldn’t have seen them. Figures.
THEN there was the after party but, well, it was very hush hush. I can’t go spilling secrets now.